The sole survivor of a plane crash managed to make a miraculous journey home after surviving a two-mile fall and wading through crocodile-infested waters.
The incredible story of Juliane Koepcke was detailed last week by TikToker Scout, who described how Juliane was flying with her mother over the Peruvian rainforest in 1971 when their plane was struck by lightning.
The lightning caused the engines to explode, and the plane began to fall through the air towards the jungle below. Juliane was strapped in to her seat with the seatbelt, but her entire bench ended up being pulled out of a hole in the side of the plane and crashing two miles to the ground.
You can hear her story below:
Juliane woke up 20 hours after the accident with numerous injuries and struggled to find any other survivors, so after two days she set off away from the crash site and found a river she decided to follow. Rather than walking alongside the river, however, Juliane decided to wade through it, Scout explained.
Having been raised at a research station in the Peruvian rainforest, Juliane was somewhat familiar with the environment and knew ‘the local crocodiles didn’t really like to mess with people’, while ‘the poisonous snakes along the riverbanks did’.
She proceeded to ‘wade and walk through the jungle for another eight days’, Scout said, before finding a boat and a small cabin containing a can of gasoline, which Juliane used to flush the maggots out of her wounds. The following day, three men arrived at the cabin and took Juliane to a local hospital.
Sharing her experience with BBC News in 2012, Juliane explained she saw her father the day after her rescue. ‘He could barely talk and in the first moment we just held each other,’ she said.
The body of Juliane’s mother was found a few weeks after the crash, at which point the family learned she had initially survived, but was badly injured and couldn’t move. She died several days later.
TikTokers have expressed their awe at Juliane’s story, with one noting it ‘could have gone so much worse’.